“A goal is not the same as a desire, and this is an important decision to make. You can have a desire you don’t intend to act on. But you can’t have a goal you don’t intend to act on.”
- Tom Morris
Human motivation is complex and has been studied by psychologists for some time. This may be semantics because many people use the words "desire" and "goal" interchangeably. However, if we limit the word desire to a yearning, a wish, a craving, etc. and define goal as an objective toward which some energy is directed or about which decision been made then the distinction has some meaning. Therefore, if I have a goal that I have not decided to act upon now or ever, Tom Morris would call it a desire. Some day I would like to lose 10 pounds may be a "goal or a desire" that I occasionally think about but am not motivated to achieve. Once I make a decision and begin to take steps and devote energy toward achieving my desire, we may call it a goal. Only when my resolutions (implied motivation based on decision or commitment) materialize can we see results. Action steps such as not eating carbohydrates made of white flour after 3:00 PM, not eating desserts for Lent or forgoing my afternoon candy bar all may become indicators that my motivation has truly moved from being a desire to being an actual goal, a goal that is measurable and attainable.
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